Tips for Passing the Time While Waiting On Your Next Flight

Traveling has created a lot of unwanted stress and anxiety due to the “hurry up and wait” nature of it. Flying is affordable for most, and the payoff is arriving at a destination quickly, although by the time one leaves to get to the airport, plans for security, and any other opportunities for slowdowns, it may be just as well to drive.

There are a lot of things to do for people who like flying but hate waiting once at the airport. With cell phones serving as pocket computers, there are opportunities to play online casino games, offline games, search social media, and more. Each will offer a temporary escape that will pass some time, but the mind wanders much quicker than it does for time to elapse, it seems.

Here are a few ways to pass the time while waiting for your next flight.

Find a place to eat.

There is no shortage of restaurants in and around airports. The prices are always higher once inside the airport, but there are many great options around it. If someone lives a great distance from the airport, one option is to make the drive and leave enough time to eat something before entering the airport – whether budgeting time for a sit-down restaurant or grabbing a quick bite in a fast food drive-thru.

Though the airport will often have some of the local eats that travelers desire, whether that is Whataburger in Texas, Chick-Fil-A just about anywhere, or Bojangles in the Southeast, there are many great choices, albeit costs adjusted because of the inability to leave airports, especially during layovers.

There will also be breweries or wine bars in the terminals that will allow those 21 and up (in America) to have a few drinks and help take some of the stress and anxiety that comes with traveling away. But be careful not to have too much to drink as one could be refused entry onto the plane by the flight attendants.

Retail therapy

Particularly for those who are leaving their destination city, there will be a number of shops in the terminals to find keepsakes from the trip. There will be themed apparel for that city, whether it is a Disney theme in Orlando, the “everything is bigger” cliche in Texas, I love New York apparel, or other landmarks from places such as Washington D.C., San Francisco, and elsewhere.

Again, the prices are often inflated, but a little window shopping never hurts anybody, and it’s an active way to keep the mind moving – and body – moving to pass the time.

Party traveling

Traveling alone is sometimes therapeutic, but it also lends itself to loneliness or struggling to find things to do. Whether traveling for work, vacation, or a quick weekend away, traveling with friends or family makes things better.

Being able to have conversations with people you know will often pass the time quickly, whether that’s reminiscing about a recent trip or budding excitement about what’s to come. Perhaps the trip isn’t fully planned out, and it is making those final decisions and booking them to ensure the best trip possible.

It also can bring other opportunities, such as playing games. Most airlines allow for one carry-on item and a small personal item. Packing a board game in one of the carry-ons could be a quick fix to pass the time in the small traveling party, whether it’s a game like Monopoly for the longer trips or a quick dice game, such as Yahtzee or Sorry for those with shorter layovers.

That’s not to say there aren’t other gaming devices, such as a cell phone or the Nintendo Switch or myriad other devices that will allow for party games.

Going old school

Or if someone wants to be alone, there are other options. While single-player games are out there, so is curating the perfect music playlist or already having one ready to go to listen to. 

Aside from playlists, there are also podcasts to listen to or streaming shows via Netflix, Hulu, HBO, or any number of platforms. Others can take a nap or strike up a conversation.

Hopefully, these ideas spark creativity for your next travels.